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Do We Choose Our Limits?

by Lauren Kennedy

Google the Law of Attraction and you will be presented with nearly limitless options from which to choose. But the majority of articles and experts will offer you similar interpretations.

For the most part, we are told that:
1.We can create the life we desire if we discipline ourselves to focus on only positive thoughts and feelings.
2. Our choices are limitless and we are limitless.. Struggle is unnecessary.
3.We can attract anything that our mind conceives and our heart believes.

It is a message that is very attractive.

Most interpretations claim that through applying the Law of Attraction, we can acquire whatever we want, everything that we want. We are limitless and struggle is the choice of the uninformed. Furthermore, nothing can occur in our lives without our consent, vibrational consent. We only have to avoid negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs, and choose to instill positive ones in their place. Then we will attract the means to attain our every desire, compliments of the Universe.

We are limitless. We are told that if we experience otherwise, it is because we have claimed our own limits, have chosen to be irresponsible and have made excuses for the results that we had attracted in the first place.

But let's expand our focus for just a moment.

Can we jump off a cliff and not be smashed by the consequences of gravity? Can we fore go sleep indefinitely? Can we walk through walls, control others prejudices, deflect a bullet?

No? But aren't we limitless? I have no doubt that there are some evolved humans who have mastered the physics of overcoming these physical laws of earthly existence. However, they, at least presently, are in the minority and are equally beyond needing any of the knowledge that the most acclaimed spiritual teachers or experts could possibly provide them.

Many readers may counter with, "Only a moron would suppose that the Law of Attraction included physical laws." (However, that brick wall is really a form of energy. The experts of the Law of Attraction claim that all energy is always required to conform to the bidding of our conscious thoughts.) Never the less, walking through a wall is for most of us, at the level of our present evolution, a physical limitation.

However, many situations that people encounter in their lives, can also result in the experience of limitation, albeit, not quite so solid or obvious. But the Law of Attraction, as interpreted by many experts, takes a different view.

They consider difficult situations, struggles and challenges to be merely excuses - the repertoire of individuals with a negative mindset or victim mentality. Since a negative mindset creates such situations, the experts dismiss them from qualifying as valid limits in our lives. But the impact of theses situations and obstacles, coupled with their inherent pain and challenges, is ever bit as solid and debilitating as that brick wall.

Consider the following example of difficult situations in which some people find themselves.

People who are wheel chair bound , no matter how much they believe in their own limitlessness, will probably have to modify their dream of being a professional dancer. People who have chronic health issues with symptoms of constant pain or debilitating fatigue, would be hard pressed to work even 8 hour days, much less put in the required time necessary to climb the corporate ladder.

Many circumstances that can be extremely challenging for individuals are readily dismissed, not only by the experts, but by a sizable portion of society in general.

People with mental health diseases are faced with a variety of debilitating symptoms that complicate every aspect of their lives. These types of diseases have been proven to be genetic in nature. In order to have been responsible for attracting the genes that case these conditions, they would have had to entertained negative thoughts at the moment of conception, the precise moment that they came into physical existence.

Single parent's, especially if they are stuck in a minimum wage job, with young children, can barely make ends meet, even working two jobs. If they put college on their to do lists, in order to improve their lot in life, and their kids get in trouble due to lack of parental supervision, at whom will society point the finger?

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of being a single parent, here is an FYI. Childcare for one child costs more than it does to rent a modest, two bedroom apartment.

Are we really comfortable claiming that all people who find themselves in these situations are demonstrating of victim mentality? Will we readily embrace the interpretations of the Law of Attraction which assert that the people who find themselves in the above or similar situations are solely responsible for their circumstances? The experts claim that it is the individual's weak mindset, laziness or an unwillingness to help themselves, that is the exclusive cause of their circumstances. Are the experts really qualified to judge an individual's character or level of adherence to Universal (spiritual) Laws, based only on their personal observation of that individual's outer circumstances?

Without a doubt, personal responsibility is essential if we want to improve our lives. And a positive attitude goes a long way toward improving our perspective, our choices and our experiences. However, making a character judgment (weak, victim mentality) based on a person's difficult life circumstances or current situation, is similar to claiming that a person infected with aids is being punished for amoral behavior.

This notion, if bad things happen to you then you must be bad, is archaic and self serving. Excuse me, negative is the preferred word I believe, as if there is really a difference. The basic judgment is the same, at least vibrationally. More over, the repercussions of this judgmental attitude, for the individual and for society, are definitely not positive.

The proclamation that we are limitless does a polar reversal when it is presented and interpreted in a way that minimizes, discounts or judges the individual, his circumstances and his struggles. The seeds of confusion and self doubt are planted and fertilized when people most need to believe in the limitless nature of their spirit and in their ability to create a fulfilling, meaningful life, in spite of their situation. These are the times when people most need to experience the limitlessness of human compassion, understanding and support, qualities that seem to be conspicuously lacking in most expert's dissertation on our limitlessness, and on the Law of Attraction.
In spite of their individual hardships, there are many determined people that continue to strive for that brass ring. And they follow the prescription of positive mindset, focused intent, determination, discipline and envisioning their goal. However, recognition, power and wealth continue to elude them.

But the popular interpretation of the Law of Attraction, and the experts' opinion, could not possibly be wrong.

So they have come up with an eloquent solution. They determined that the individual's utter defeat was obviously the result of their own refusal to change their negative beliefs, especially the unconscious beliefs.

Splendid catch 22.

Tell me this. How is one suppose to ever identify these negative beliefs when we are being directed to only think positive thoughts and feel positive emotions?

Another possible reason that is cited for our failure, is our insatiable need to know what is happening in our country and the world. The media is poisoning our minds with negative stories about the casualties in the war, the starving in Africa, the escalating hate crimes in this country and abroad, and the disaster in Haiti.

These unsettling events would produce uncomfortable emotions in any feeling human. Thus we are told to avoid knowledge of them. Better to stick our head in the sand than to feel a twinge of concern about one's fellow humans. Besides, the rationale goes, these people obviously attracted these dreadful situations and this callous treatment themselves, hence they must learn to control their thoughts and take responsibility for their beliefs.

Then apparently, their crops will grow in spite of the drought, they will mysteriously receive a timely job transfer to another city before mother nature unleashes a new adventure in survival on their city, and they will know when to stay indoors and avoid the mean spirited folks who wish to beat them into submission.

Hence, we are directed to avoid anything that may negatively influence our positive thoughts and feelings. How can we be expected to risk our positive mindset for those unfortunates who obviously refuse to control their negative beliefs, unconscious or not. (No one seems to be volunteering to show them how this is done, however.)

Although the typical interpretations of the Law of Attraction judge the character of the unfortunate, they extol the character and virtue of the successful. Many experts assert that people who have acquired wealth, power and success are models of character, integrity, superior mindset, positive thinking, self discipline and focus. And they actually say this with a straight face and claim it is a fact. They encourage us to model the successful folks in every area of life.

They have actually created videos for those of us still in the process of envisioning our success. These videos provide affirmations for us. They extol the superior integrity, character and mindset of the wealthy. And then they encouraging us to validate and confirm our respect and admiration of them. A nice ploy to increase the influence, prestige and powerbase of the wealthy and powerful.

Idealizing the rich and successful as examples of character, positive mindset, discipline and importance sends a message that is both deceitful and debilitating. Deceitful because we only have to look to the recent past, (wall street CEO's, bank executives) to see that character is not a required quality to acquire power and money. Historically, some of the wealthy in this country have taken actions that have cost hundreds of individuals their lives, figuratively and literally. Yet, they are remembered with respect and admiration because they achieved wealth and power.

Perhaps the suggested practice of avoiding negative information has given the experts a distorted view of the wealthy. Or perhaps it is merely self delusion.

It is debilitating, because if one has not reached that pinnacle of power and wealth, the implication is that one lacks these qualities, or at the very least, lacks determination and importance. What a good way to keep the peons in their place. Convince them that they lack what it takes, evidenced by the fact that they haven't achieved it.

Without a doubt, there are many successful people who are the image of positive thinking and character, and whose contributions have been vastly beneficial to countless people. However, many people who remain in difficult situations, also possess character, integrity and are supremely positive, possessing mental and emotional fortitude. Suggesting otherwise is highly judgmental, and also reeks of discrimination, bias and bigotry.

Yet, the popular interpretation persists that the Law of Attraction provides a guaranteed spiritual formula for acquiring wealth, power, and success. Possessing wealth, power and success is evidence that one is applying this spiritual formula, and has therefore also acquired spiritual principles and have developed a superior mindset.

Complete control over one's life is simple: positive thoughts, feelings and beliefs, single minded focus, frequent visualization and presto, the universe complies with your every desire.

Mission accomplished.

Alternate Interpretation of the Law of Attraction

We are, in fact, limitless Beings with limitless potential. But while in physical form, at this time and in this dimension, we are subject to some limits. We are unable to grow a new arm. If we are unprotected, we will most likely freeze to death in temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Here's another fact. We are unable to have or to do everything at the same time. (those physical laws again) Sometimes by choosing character and principles over compliance, (or over sticking my head in the sand), I may forfeit a promotion. Focusing on my goal, to the exclusion of all other distractions, will affect my relationships. Meaningful relationships, (not just romantic), require commitment, honesty, focus and time.

Big goals and dreams require significant sacrifices, and sometimes difficult choices. The Law of Attraction does not eliminate the reality of living in the physical realm. You still can not have your cake and eat it, too. ( Perhaps if you eat it in your sleep and thus do not consciously observe it?)

The concept is no different than eating two cheesecakes a day and expecting to lose weight by positive thinking and visualization.

Sometimes we are faced with choices that can affect our goals and dreams. If I compromise my priorities and principles in order to achieve wealth, position, or power, at what am I really successful? I am a white collar con artist at best and a white collar wise guy at worse.

Justifying apathy and avoidance in the name of protecting ourselves from negative thoughts and feelings, is not spiritual or prudent. It condones our tendency to put appearance, power and control above unity, support and understanding. Cultivating a true positive mindset is attained by maintaining a positive attitude in the midst of negative situations.

Avoiding information that illuminates problems or suffering in the world, will not make them disappear. And one day those same problems will expand to touch our own lives, no matter how deeply we have immersed ourselves in our own positive world. Exploring possible actions that may alleviate the causes of suffering, sharing information and knowledge with our fellow humans to enable them to improve their lives, or developing an attitude of compassion, understanding and support, for all life, will raise the consciousness of the human species and result in a more positive world for all.

Many of the popular interpretations of the Law of Attraction have missed the message.

The Law of Attraction is about empowerment. It is about our right to an abundant life. It is about pursuing our inner truth. It is about expanding our perspective rather than judging our experience. (You see? It's not the news that is negative, it is our judgment of it.)

Although we may experience limits, challenges and circumstance which we view as unpleasant, we do, in fact, have limitless potential. We may be unable to jump off a cliff and fly like a bird, but we have achieved flight, none the less.

We can create a fulfilling life in spite of, (and sometimes because of) difficult circumstances, extreme challenges, or catastrophes. However, to get from where we are to where we want to go or what we want to achieve, (in reality, it's about how we want to feel ), we must make changes and develop new choices.

But we are impotent to change what we refuse to see.

We must acknowledge and accept what is. We must honestly evaluate and identify our particular situation and yes, limits, in order to discover ways to work with or around them.
Simply deciding that one's chronic disease and symptoms no longer exists because it is a self imposed limitation, and consequently challenging oneself to perform as if one is healthy, will frequently result in hospitalization at best. It is also denial of what is. And denial is a form of resistance. And yes,t what we resist, persists.

If we refuse to objectively seek out information, we lack the ability to make intelligent choices. When we intentionally ignore negative emotions, choosing instead to silence them by grasping at pleasant thoughts, we are missing out on the priceless guidance that our feelings provide.

Focusing on the message in the emotion is very different from becoming immersed in it or lamenting and judging the person or situation that triggered it. Knowing the trigger will not fix the situation but it can enable us to expand and change our perception which will result in new choices, based on the present rather than as a reaction to the past.

The universe and life do unfold according to Universal Laws, yes, plural. And our beliefs, conscious and unconscious, do have a powerful influence on our perceptions, choices and actions. But contrary to popular opinion, intellect is not king. We are limiting rather than expanding our spiritual evolution when we put our thoughts in charge of our Being. Intellect is dangerous without the balancing effects of compassion, unity, feeling (not the same as emotional reactions), and wisdom.

The Law of Attraction, as other Universal Laws, are spiritual guidelines to encourage us to reach for our potential, to inspire us to imagine and dream, and to give us courage to live our lives with passion in the pursuit of our true, inner purpose.

The way in which we perceive and experience the situations we encounter is within our power. That is our choice. And it is that choice which is at the heart of our limitless potential. It is our experience, rather than our accomplishments that are limitless.

It is through embracing rather than avoiding life's experiences that we experience our potential, and the limitless nature of our Spirit.
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Truth - Yours or Mine?

by Lauren Kennedy -"Knock. Knock."" Who’s there?"" Truth."" Truth Who?"" Mine or Yours?"And there in lies the dilemma. And the source of immense conflict.We like to think that truth is absolute, explicit, definite, unambiguous and most of all knowable. But what is truth? Are there universal truths that apply to everyone and everything, at all times, in every situation, rigid and inflexible? How do we know if something is, in fact true?Following are the dictionary's various definitions of truth.* "Something that is factual."* "Something that is generally believed to be true."* "A fact or concept that is scientifically proven."* " Conformity to a certain standard or law."* " Something that corresponds to reality."* "A religious truth."But none of these definition unequivocally define a truth. Instead, they describe the methods that we use to validate a particular truth, or more accurately, a belief. Each of these methods are fallible, influenced by society's views, upheld by those in power,or a mater of perception, control or convenience.For instance, at one time Europeans generally believed that the world was flat. That was "something that is generally believed to be true." Go too far and you fall of the edge of the earth they would say. Many people thought Christopher Columbus was sailing to his doom."A religious truth" was stated to be that the sun revolved around the earth. Anyone who dared to disagree was subject to prosecution. Therefore, that definition can also be fallible.How about "conformity to a certain standard or law"? At one point in time, the standard and law in the south was that slavery was acceptable. Many people conformed in their beliefs and actions to the idea that slaves were sub humans, deserving no more respect than livestock. In time our laws matured enough to outlaw slavery. Unfortunately, some people have been slow to evolve or expand their perception and understand the spiritual principle of different but equal.Let's look at those " things that correspond to reality." At one point in time people believed that their own misfortune was the result of their neighbor, the witch. They were so certain of this reality that they eagerly sent one neighbor after another to the pyre without a second thought or moment of remorse. Conviction after conviction, sentence after sentence was carried out with no evidence, simply someone's claim that their own misfortune must have been caused by a witch. And then they pointed the finger at someone they knew, one of their neighbors, relatives, the strange person in the village or someone who was an inconvenience or annoyance to them.We may not burn witches at the stake, but we still seem to seek revenge as a way to ease the pain of a tragedy or react with fear in an attempt to control something that we find threatening.Even scientist have had to revise the "facts that they thought had been scientifically proven." When I was in grade school, I asked the teacher how long ago South American and Africa were joined together. She told me I had an over active imagination. Continents were way too large and heavy to move.It always amazed me that scientists, could categorically reject the obvious based on their inability to explain it. Everyday scientists are discovering new information that dispels some of their most dearly held convictions.Misleading is UntruthfulAnother problem with facts as truth is this. If I chose, I could recount a situation or incident to you, giving you the facts, never uttering a false word, and still lead you to a false conclusion. Now, consider the public relations advisers, the spin professionals, who aren't concerned if a minor untruth slips in now and again. They can have you skipping down the Yellow Brick Road ready to ambush the Big Bad witch with nothing but the the shiny ruby red shoes they sold you to put on your feet.Our Five Senses Are LimitedMany people still hold to the concept that reality is what we can see, hear, taste, smell or touch. If it doesn't register with one of our five senses, it doesn't exist. This is amazing in the era of atom bashing and quark detection (subatomic particles that scientist can't even see). So how do they know they exist? Consider the air on a still day. You can't see, hear, taste, touch or smell it, except perhaps on a hot day in New York during a garbage strike. But if you look at a tall tree, you will notice that its leaves at the very top are slightly swaying. In the same way, scientists know that quarks exists by the reaction and results that they observe when smashing particle together at incredible speeds.Some dogs can smell cancer cells long before our sophisticated instruments can detect them. Birds can see radiation the same way that we see color. Before technology, humans were unable to see or detect that part of the light spectrum. Does that mean it didn't exist? Of course, if they were avid sun bathers, they did notice the effect of some parts of the invisible light spectrum.Other animals can detect the earth's magnetic force, a useful sense for navigation when you don't have hands to hold a compass. And what about people who are colorblind and can't differentiate red and green. Does that mean that those colors don't exist? Are the rest of us are just imagining them, or dreaming them.Religious TruthsReligious truths are a real quagmire. Everyone thinks that their sacred texts, and their interpretations are the ultimate truth. Many of these stories were passed for years from one person to another by word of mouth until they were finally transcribed. Have you ever played telephone? The quagmire gets deeper still, when one considers translation, colloquialisms, and the writings that were omitted, at least from the Bible, for reasons of control, power, bias, by the early clergy to gain power and control for their version of religious truth. The first to fourth century religious elders and popes were more concerned about obtaining a power base and choosing scriptures and interpretations that validated their traditional social views, than they were about ensuring that the spirit and message of the word of Christ was accurately preserved.The fact is that most of the ideas or concepts that we label as truth are actually beliefs, not facts, hence not the truth. None of the dictionary's definitions actually define truth. They just describe our system for proclaiming that something is the truth at a particular point in time.The problem is that facts change, our version of reality changes, laws and standards change, society changes and different religions have different versions of the truth.The Best DefinitionThe best definition that I discovered, the one that has the potential to come closest to the truth was this: "An accurate account or description of alignment, setting, position or shape."But once again, this definition is also subject to error. Giving an accurate account depends on what we perceive. As mentioned earlier, we can only perceive what our senses detect. A dog may hear something that we cannot or an eagle may see something we could not. Unfortunately, we can not understand other species' language, although our pets, with inferior intellectual capacities (according to our truths), have learned to understand some of ours. Hence we are unable to benefit from the information they gather with their more acute senses.Perception Obscures the TruthThe next obstacle is our mental perception. We often only see what we expect to see. In addition, we make assumptions about what we see, based on our experiences, our beliefs, our attitude, our fears and our biases. These assumptions can occur automatically and lightening quick, so we are not aware of the process. By the time the situation registers in our conscious brain, some information may be excluded, some information inferred, and some created. But to our mind, it is what happened, it is the truth.Are you beginning to see the dilemma? And just to really make your head spin, consider this. If we really create our life situation as some beliefs suggest, and if human consciousness influences the world, world situations, and even DNA, then may be we are constantly creating a new reality. According to the dictionary one definition of truth is reality. If we are indeed creating new realities, then are we also creating new truths?How does one make choices when truth appears to be plastic and malleable, debatable, changeable and unknowable? How can truth be a fixed, unchanging declaration, when the basis for truth, reality, is subject to change? And it not only reality that may be subject to change, our perceptions definitely change moment to moment.Honesty Is the Best PolicyHonest communication can eliminate much of the confusion and misinformation that occurs, even if we have yet to discover the ultimate universal truths. Truth and honesty, in practice, are not necessarily the same thing. I can inform you of a situation, perhaps a new policy coming up for a vote, or relay a description about a course of action that someone followed, etc. I can present the facts, never uttering a falsehood, but still(intentionally or otherwise) lead you to a false conclusion or impression. I have been technically and legally truthful. But I have still been dishonest, manipulative and deceitful. So that is a practice that I avoid, however tempting or superficially self serving it may appear to be.The Benefits of Rigorous Self HonestyThe discipline of rigorous self honesty is a powerful practice that brings clarity, insight and direction to my life. This means that I am honest with myself and others about my intentions and motives. I don't mislead myself or others about my true motives in order to make a good impression, manipulate opinion, or control behavior. Engaging in emotional blackmail by instilling fear, guilt or power plays is equally dishonest.Honesty includes living with authenticity and integrity, meaning that my choices, decisions and behaviors are congruent with my principles, priorities, beliefs. Rigorous self honesty also includes acknowledging my true feelings, needs and fears. To accomplish this level of honesty requires present moment awareness, courage and objective self observation. My record is far from perfect, and discovering my true feelings, needs and intentions has been a difficult and sometimes painful feat a for a woman that spent over half her life playing a academy award version of Pollyanna meets superwoman. For a time, I had even believed that I didn't need anything or anybody and that I was never angry.Our true feelings are often inconvenient, contrary to society's image of a strong, responsible and positive person, triggering our sense of vulnerability. But we have been sold a pack of lies. It takes a far more courageous and much stronger individual to acknowledge their own truth than it does to avoid and resist it by substituting pretty thoughts and acceptable emotions. When we avoid, dismiss, deny, or cover our feelings they are not eliminated .What we resist, persists, and that includes our feelings.In order to become who we want to be, in order to reach our potential, we must first acknowledge, accept and experience who we truly are. To remodel a house, I must first understand what I want to change, what I want to keep, what elements work and which do not. I must uncover the cracks in the foundation, the leaks in the pipes, the mold in the basement. I can choose to remain unaware of them, and just apply a quick coat of paint and a positive attitude, but the cracks, leaks and mold will eventually topple the structural foundation around me.We do not change what we refuse to acknowledge.We may not agree on what is "The Truth," but we can discover our own inner truth, the truth of who we are. Then through objective observation we can discover and fix the cracks, mend the leaks and eliminate the harmful mold within. If we refuse to honestly experience and release our feelings, if we resist honestly acknowledging our true motives and hidden agendas, those lies will destroy our inner foundation. When we ignore, cover up or deny our feelings, priorities, motives, and needs, we loose our connection with our true source of wisdom.We resist acknowledging those personal truths,(feelings, intent, motives) that we judge to be negative. But their existence will not be denied. In our attempt to ignore them or cover them up, their energy(that we have judge to be negative) simmers inside and grows in strength. The more we resist it, the more our own truth persists in its need for expression and release. Eventually, in spite of our best efforts, it will surface through emotional outbursts, compulsions, justifications, compromised principles and emptiness. The truth that we are trying so hard to control, deny, and avoid experiencing will eventually control and destroy us unless we begin to embrace the truth of who we are being.Our feelings hold a wealth of information. Acknowledged, experienced and released, they dissipate quickly and thus have no energy to attract negativity. Observing our feelings, motives, intentions,and fears, informs us of the cracks in the foundation that need healing, identifies the fears that leak in and obscure our perceptions and reveals the mold that is blocking us from expressing our truth, our essence, our spirit.Feelings are the language of our Soul. And that may be as close to a source of truth as we may be able to achieve. So why do we regularly avoid or ignore our personal path to our truth?Honesty is Living Our Own TruthI don't have to know "The Truth" to be honest in my interactions with life, with others and with myself. If I am true to my priorities, purpose and beliefs, if I consciously choose to live and express the truth of who I am, if my focus is authenticity and integrity , then I will never live a lie. As I grow, my priorities and beliefs may change. My truths may even evolve and expand. But by adhering to the principle of self honesty, I will never live a lie. And I will have lived my truth.Each moment that we choose to be honest and authentic, we are living our truth. And by focusing on our own inner truth, we will know and recognize The Truth when it comes to knock on our door."Knock. Knock."" Who There?"" Honesty."" Honesty Who?""I am honestly living my truth."You have the right and responsibility to live yours.
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